Force India were actually the first team to release a picture of a 2014 Formula 1 car, although to the dismay of many experts, they hid their nose out of sight. Crude move. Sauber don't believe in a day of rest and released their car on the 26th of January.
I am reviewing both of these cars and two more (Red Bull's RB10 & Williams' FW36) together because 1) I'm not very good with the specs of cars and 2) they carry some similar design features. Some cars I feel deserve to be ridiculed on their own (as you'll find in my Toro Rosso review).
This image was the very first 2014 car. I have to say this is one of my favourite livery's. For the past few seasons, the Force India's looked very similar and I suppose that's to be expected naming a team after a country, but the black really suits the car.
I like the effort they went to to change it up, I think it's a little disrespectful to the paradigm shift when teams like Red Bull, Mercedes, Lotus do very little to their livery's whenever such a big rule change is enforced.
Nico Hulkenberg returns after being snubbed for the Lotus position (rightfully so) and he is joined by McLaren reject Sergio Perez. Prior to this season I would have considered myself a Force India supporter, given that they used to be Irish-owned. But I was a bigger Paul di Resta fan, and I don't think his situation was handled very well.
Regardless, Hulkenberg and Perez are two very talented and possible world champions should the ever get the chance. Hopefully with a big engine shakeup they might get the opportunity they've both been waiting for.
After finally seeing the nose, it was no surprise that they tried hiding it. The VJM07 has a lovely colour but it is really disgusting to look at. Ultimately, this could prove to be a big advantage but right now I want to rip my eyes out. And it only gets worse from here.
Sauber took a bold step for a team in financial difficulty in having a launch outside of Jerez, albeit a low key online deal like Lotus. Adrian Sutil leaves Silverstone for the first time in his career and joins the returning Esteban Gutierrez who managed to finish his season without killing anyone.
As I mentioned before, I know little about the specs of a car just by looking at it, but what I simply love seeing are the various colours of an F1 car, and as I found last years Sauber boring, I find it a little hard to swallow that they couldn't manage to change the awfully dull grey.
Sauber have picked two drivers that were the best of a bad situation really. If this was the chance to make the leap forward, signing a driver like di Resta or Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne would have been a better choice. I know Sutil has been round the circuit a few times, but I feel as though they could have done more.
These two teams have been in the sport for quite some time now with limited success, Sauber may have lost momentum when BMW quit the sport but now that everyone is even, they really are racing in no-excuse-situations now. It's time to make the leap forward, and getting on those podiums are the way to do it.
Looks aren't everything, but these cars certainly aren't stunners.